I need to take some steps to reduce noise and vibration coming from
large (semi) trucks which pass about 50ft from my house at high speed
(35-40mph). The roadway is about 10 ft below the level of the house
with a gradual slope.
I recognize that significant noise will remain. I just want to
minimize it within my cost restraints (about $5000).
I am considering two steps. Please critique and offer suggestions.
First, I will add second windows to the windows facing the street.
Does anyone know of a high quality, reputable manufacturer of noise
abating windows? (perhaps airport grade). Should they be installed
inside or outside of the existing windows?
Second, I will build a masonry wall parallel to the street. How
thick? How tall (code restricts to 8ft)? What impact would this have
on neighbors (would it reflect sound across street to make worse for
Would these steps make a difference, or is the noise too great to
1st thing: when you say "vibration" are you referring to low frequency
noise ("rumble") or ground-borne vibration (shaking of the ground)?
There is not much you as a homeowner can do to reduce ground-borne
vibration from trucks other than to ask your city/town to smooth out the
road surfaces or reduce the speed limit.
Are you sure that the windows are the "weak link" on that facade?
Windows can help, but be sure that noise isn't coming through a vent or
A noise barrier should be made out of a material with a density of at
least 4 lbs/sq foot. The wall should have no visible gaps - any gap will
render the wall ineffective. The wall also needs to be high enough to
block the line-of-sight between you and the noise source (the exhaust
stack in you case).
You are correct that sound may reflect off the wall and increase traffic
noise at your neighbor's property. There are methods to avoid this -
however, without knowing the exact geometries involved, it's hard to say
what would happen.
If you're serious about pursuing this, you might want to hire an
acoustical consultant to advise you.
There's no secret involved. The thicker the glass pane, the better.
Consider at least 1/4" and up to 1/2" or more. The seal about the
perimeter is important, and it should be attached to the masonry niche
about the window and not to the window frame for best low frequency
noise attenuation. If your house is ofmasonry construction, this will
quell most of the "vibration" (which is relaly the walls and window
reacting to the low frequency sound mpresure waves.
With masonry buildings, the best results come from installation in the
niche as desribed. The inner location will be useful only if a high
degree of sound attenuation is NOT needed, and you MUST install and
remove from the inside.
At least two pounds per square foot (10 kg/m^2).
Not that they would particularly notice it, though visual perceptions
can be powerful persuaders.
The heavy window in the niche is the best improvemtn.
Actually, the best PERFORMANCE would come from installing a thick plate
glass pane OVER the niche (larger than the niche dimensions by 10 cm or
more, captured by an external frame that is sealed to the masonry with
grout. Ponderous and ugly, it will indeed be the "terminator" of sound
penetration into your bedroom! (You essentiall build a transparent
extension of your masonry materal over the opening.
Thanks for the info. With regard to the wall, you note that any gaps
in the wall will render it ineffective. One challenge is that I would
have to leave a 10ft opening in the wall to allow car access to the
driveway. Would this render the wall useless? It would seem to me
that the wall would perform its function except when the trucks pass
the opening for the driveway. Thanks.
It's pretty hard to say what's going to happen without knowing the
geometries involved. You're right that the wall will help to block noise
when the truck is behind it. However, since noise will propagate to your
home when the trucks pass the gap, you may not subjectively notice the
noise reduction. But again, it really depends on the geometries involved.
Just place some tack strips across the road. Put them a mile down the
road in each direction, and no trucks will make it to your home.
Total cost will be about $20 (not including the jail sentence you get
if you are caught). Therefore, hire the mentally ill kid down the
block to do it for you, he'll do it for a few popsicles, or just
promise him a night in bed with Michael Jackson. . . ..........
On 9 Jan 2004 15:08:43 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (jacktripper) wrote:
Not completely wrong. Trees and roots have an effect on ground
borne vibration attenuation (in surface and near surface layer).
Effect/efficiency depends, e.g., on soil quality.
I remember a German study from 1970's (?) concerning use of trees
as a toned vibration absorbers. The frequency of max. absorption
(damping) depended on tree (trunk) height. Unfortunately I could not
find this paper from my files.
The original poster was probably new to the neighborhood. After a few
years he will get used to it.
A sound proof room would be good to meditate and play some kick ass jam.
Farmers have used trees and shrubs to stop soil erosion and break the
Sound is carried by wind.
Roots have minimal absorbtion.
Herb is located in Boston. They do not have very good luck with trees
I lived there for 5 years. Very costly to maintain and the sound will
easily bounce off other buildings.
I have nothing to add to the topic under discussion. However, based on Kari's
encylopedic recall of the relevant literature on almost any acoustical
subject, the phrase "my files" produced a vivid mental image. I saw a room
lined with floor-to-ceiling bookcases, Kari standing on a rolling ladder,
reaching for a folder.
To reply, replace "***" with "_J_" in my return address.
Here in Phoenix they put in sound walls that were 10-14 feet high, when the
road is recessed slightly from the surroundings.
If your stuck with 8' walls then why not try a hedge, Greenery absorbs sound
and cuts the dust. I an not aware of any laws about planting shrubs on their
height. Set back will probably apply, check with your building authority.
Ditch the second windows and try replacements of double or triple glazed. I
have a friend that installed them on his block home one block away from a
busy street, level. There was an noticeable improvement.
I have a block home and had the walls sprayed with foam 3 years ago, best
grand I ever spent. I still have single glazed windows and the house became
You do not mention where you are in the country, so I am just tossing idea
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.